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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #964

How to Be Saved

March 27, 2011

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 964 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

-- Brother Phil Enlow: It wasn’t just words that Jesus said, but it was everything He did that let us know that the smallest and the weakest of us are loved, that we matter to the One who made us, that He longs, through all that He did for us, to give hope. This was what Paul was sharing.

And, of course, he probably told the story of the woman who was taken in adultery we’ve heard so many times. And there she was. The religious people were just so…looking for somebody to condemn--looking for a way to condemn and reject Him and say, I knew there was nothing to You. You didn’t have the right answer here. And God gave Him wisdom and grace that put them to shame, and caused them to leave, and the shame went with them. And He lifted the shame from that poor woman. And when she left there, she was clean. She was full of the love of God and of hope.

Over, and over, and over, and over, and over again Paul could tell the stories, ‘cause this was stuff that had just happened. This was only like a couple of decades or so before. This was real recent history. He could say, look, we’ve got a friend traveling with us. He knows about all this stuff. I’ve met people who were there. I’ve met people who actually walked with Him, and they were eyewitnesses of all these things. They saw Him walk on water. They saw Him raise the dead. They saw His power against demon spirits. They saw all of these things in this man who came to show us, not just to tell us about God, but to show us by living among us.

But then, in the eyes of people the unthinkable happened, didn’t it? In God’s perfect plan He was arrested, put through a mock trial, condemned to die, and put through some of the worst suffering that’s ever been wreaked upon anybody. I can imagine the jailor saying, what in the world is that about? I don’t understand. This is the Son of God. How could…surely He had power to stop that. If He can walk on water and command devils to leave, why in the world would He submit to such a thing? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

I mean, you can understand when you step back and think about it, Paul had a lot of explaining to do. He did summarize the message in its utter simplicity, but in order for that message to make any sense at all, He had to really tell who Jesus was, didn’t he? And that’s what he did. And then Paul was able to tell him why such an unthinkable thing had happened…that the entire human race, because of our sins, had been separated from a Holy God, that the penalty for that sin was death, that without something, we were in an utterly hopeless state separated from God, unable to help ourselves.

Well, he already felt in some sense, maybe he couldn’t define it, but he already felt his need. He knew he was in the presence of something that just caused him to be fearful, uncertain, to realize he had a need. I pray that somebody here, that if you’re in that place that you feel that need…God wants you to feel it, but He wants you to feel it so you’ll run to Him. He can lift the burden from your heart.

So anyway Paul explained that all of the guilt, all of the sin, all of the shame, every evil thought, every evil deed that we sang in the song this morning, was put upon Him and charged to Him. I’ll tell you, how does that make you feel when you think of some of the things you’ve said and done? For Him to be willing to do such a thing, to be who He was and to be willing to stoop to that place where He took my guilt upon Himself…Praise God. But He did it with willing heart. He did it with joy.

And Paul explained all this to him, that He died as our substitute, He died as our representative, I think is a better word. If I had gone to that cross that would have been the end of me. But He had no sin of His own. He was like that spotless lamb that God had used as a type in the Old Testament. And sins had been symbolically placed upon that lamb, and the lamb was killed as a substitute for the people who had done the sinning. But here’s Jesus, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

And so Paul continues to explain. I can still imagine this jailer and his family living…it’s almost like they’re living through what’s going on as he tells the story. You remember how the people who did live it, felt…confused, I thought it was gonna be this way, and look what’s happened. I don’t understand. Not only do I not understand, I see that evil is seemingly triumphing here, and we’re in danger now. Oh my God. What is going on? I don’t understand. I don’t get it. And you can just sense, if you think about it, the feeling of this man’s family as they were brought through something that they’d never heard.

You know, we’ve heard all this. And sometimes it just becomes so…oh yeah, I’ve heard that. But I pray that it will become real and new where it needs to, for all of our hearts. But this was a brand new thing to this man’s family. And so they took them through, right through to the Easter morning, Sunday morning, when the women went to the tomb. And they were gonna leave spices, and they got there, and the door was…as they went they said, look there’s a big stone in front of the tomb. We didn’t really think about that. What are we gonna do? Who’s gonna help us roll that stone away? Obviously it was bigger than two or three women could do.

And so they got there and the stone was rolled away. The guards either weren’t there or whatever it was, it wasn’t being guarded. One of them, I think, went into the tomb. I can’t remember the exact details, but at some point His followers went into the tomb. They had a custom in that day of wrapping bodies in a certain way with linen before burying them. They would wrap the body, and they would wrap the head as a separate thing, and they would lay it in there. Well, guess what? The clothes were right where they had been left, but there was nobody in them. You know, you can imagine what was going through their minds as they were listening to this. What in the world is that about?

And so he continues on with the stories of the people who met Him that day. Mary met Him. Peter met Him. And then He appears to those two that were going on the road to Emmaus, was it? It was just a few miles from Jerusalem, and they were walking there sadly talking about all of this. And suddenly Jesus joins them. What are you talking about? He gets in on the conversation and begins to explain what really happened, and they invite Him in as in Jewish custom…a stranger at the end of a day, they invite Him in for a meal, and probably had lodging in mind. And all of the sudden they get ready to eat, and He breaks the bread and He blessed it. And suddenly--suddenly they knew who it was.

( snapping fingers ).

At that moment, He disappeared out of their sight. And they ran all the way back to Jerusalem, several miles, and told the disciples, we’ve seen the Lord! He’s risen! While they were doing that, they were in a locked room. You would be too if you were in that circumstance. You’d be saying, hey, at least I want a lock between me and the danger out there. All of a sudden, Jesus didn’t pay a bit of attention to their lock, He just suddenly appeared right in the middle of the room…and asked for a piece of fish and He ate it.

Can you imagine hearing this for the first time? What this man must have been hearing and understanding that not only did He come to take our sins upon Him, He came to conquer death itself. And He rose from that tomb. And that was the glory of the message. And that’s why you put your faith in Him, because God sent Him to rescue people from their sins. He is all of our message. He is all of our hope today. He is the One in whom I trust completely. My life is in His hands.

( congregational amens ).

He took my sins upon Him on that day. Oh praise God! You know, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you obviously can’t just believe in Him and yourself. You can’t say, well, I’m basically a good person, but I need some help in these areas so I’m gonna believe in Him, too. No. Believing in Him is stopping believing in yourself. It’s coming to a realization you’re not a good person. None of us are, not by God’s standard.

But you know, it’s okay to come to the place where we realize and are honest with what we are. I think a lot of people are afraid of that…like there’s no more hope if I just really am honest. I’ve got to pretend. I’ve got to try to be…no. In the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can be exactly what we are, sinners in need of a Savior, because the Gospel message is not one that points a finger and condemns you, it’s one that reaches out and says, let Me take your burden, let Me take your guilt, let Me take your sin upon Myself, let Me give you life. Put your faith in Me. I have the power, I have the commission. This is the promise of God. This is the Gospel in a nutshell.

( congregational amens ).

Put your faith in Jesus. It’s not in me. It’s not in my words even. It’s in Him. Put your faith in Him, and you’ll be saved. I understand that there’s a progression of salvation. And I think that’s something believers need to understand, that there is a progress. We don’t just jump right to full maturity just by being born, any more than a baby when it’s born is ready for adult life. But at the same time there is a point when people pass from death to life.

I can’t explain it. When Jesus talked to Nicodemus about being born again He said it’s like the wind that comes through and you hear the sound, you know it’s there, you may see affects, but you don’t really understand it. But it’s like that when people are born again of God’s spirit. There’s a point in time when people pass from death to life, when their faith is just, put in Him. I cannot engineer that, but I can tell you of God’s promise.

If there is anybody who feels their need, it’s not complicated. Come to Him. Think about what His name even means…calls Him the Lord Jesus. Lord, it starts with Lord. He is Lord. The message of the Gospel…think about what Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. It was…the One you crucified, He’s Lord. He is Lord. He is over everything. He’s over every devil. God’s put everything in His hands. Well, if God’s put everything in His hands, then our relationship to Him is kind of important. If we remain in the category of somebody who resists and rebels and says, no, I don’t want You. I will not submit to You. I’m going my own way. That’s not a good thing. There’s not gonna be a good end to that. The Gospel begins with proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord.

But for Him to be Lord in a saving relationship, it means He’s our Lord. It means our life is given to Him. Now you think about pottery, for example. Let’s just take someone who is very, very gifted at making very beautiful pottery and it sells for a high price. What does the clay have to do to become that beautiful piece of pottery? It submits, doesn’t it? It yields. There’s going to be some manipulating. There’s going to be…the hands of a skilled craftsman are going to be placed upon that clay at very key times. The shape of that thing is gonna get changed. It might say, I want to be this way. And he says, no, this is the way. I’ve got to smooth this rough area out. I’ve got to put a groove here. I’ve got to put…the potter is the one who make the determination.

And I’ll tell you, when we truly come to God that’s what our life is about. It’s given to Him. He has the power to make us what we need to be for eternity. It’s not just about this life. My God, this is short. But a Savior who has the power, if he is truly Lord, to do whatever is needed.

And of course Jesus means Savior, doesn’t it? Redeemer, Rescuer. And it’s the name God gave to His Son. And He gave it to Him because He will save His people from their sins. That’s a pretty positive statement. He will save. He is able, we’re told in Hebrews, to save completely those that come to God by Him, because He ever lives to pray. Praise God!

There’s a part of me that just wants to explain it better, but that’s not what matters. That night, I don’t think it was Paul’s great explanations that were the issue. In fact, if that were the issue, he would have recorded that, wouldn’t he? It was just the simplicity of lifting up a person who is Lord, who is Savior. Put your faith in Him. And there was a moment in time when they said, yes! And they didn’t say it superficially. They said yes from their very hearts and their beings. It was a turning point. It was going through a door never to return. It was going over a bridge and burning that bridge and saying from this moment on I belong to Jesus Christ. I see my need of Him, but I believe in Him!

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Many of you--many of you can remember Brother Thomas himself giving this testimony, and others have heard it referred to. He was a pretty rough-cut guy, wasn’t he? By all accounts he grew up very, very hard…broken home, bounced from pillar to post, unwanted in most cases much of the time, suffered in a TB sanitarium for a year or two, in a terrible accident that had him in excruciating pain and almost took his life. He was just here and there, a hard working kind of a guy, who would go out at night and drink with his friends and get into fights and call it a good time.

But all that while there was something kind of percolating in the back of his mind and his heart. He knew there was a God. He knew he needed be right with that God. He knew he wasn’t. God had just begun something there that was just kind of simmering in the background. Of course, he had to make a living, and one way they did it back then was selling illegal whiskey. So he was a moonshiner.

But you remember the story of how he went to that particular church. It happened to be a Baptist church. They had some of the ways--traditional ways that evangelists worked. The evangelists preached the Gospel, but then he gave a trick invitation. Every head bowed. You have a need raise your hand. All right, everybody that raised their hand, stand up. Okay, everybody that’s standing up, come down to the front. It was just manipulating people into trying to make decisions. But there were people there who knew God in spite of the ways things were done.

Of course, Brother Thomas got up there, and he was a bit of a rascal. He’s saying, look, I didn’t come down here to join your church! And he was beginning to make a fuss, and so they said, well, we better…he’s making a disturbance. We better get him off to the side and talk to him out back. So they went to the office and talked with him a while. And you remember what the pastor, I think it was, asked him. He said, do you want to be saved? Brother Thomas knew enough to say, yeah. But he said in a way…it was, do you want…everybody wants to be saved. It was just kind of a general sometime, someway, somehow kind of thing. And the pastor was wise enough to say, no they don’t.

But he also asked the other question. Do you want to be saved now? And God used that simple word to bring him to a point where he said, yes. It wasn’t just the words of the pastor. It was the words of God to his heart. What will you do? And that’s what salvation comes down to. It’s God confronting your heart in whatever manner is necessary. It doesn’t mean He comes in with a fist. Sometimes it’s the most gentle thing. Some people’s salvation is a very cataclysmic, just a tremendous experience. And other people’s is almost imperceptible. But I’ll tell you, there’s a point in time when God confronts a heart and says, what about you? What about now? What will you do? And it’s that point when people need to say yes.

There’s a lot of people out there that think you can just kind of take them down the Romans Road and get them to say the right words and like they have the power to make the decision any time. That’s not so. Nobody can come unless the Lord draws. It’s when He convicts the heart. You need Me, and I have the power to cleanse you and make you God’s child. Will you surrender? Will you put your faith in Me? That’s when it matters. So many people in this world just resist at that point and pull back. But I pray, I’ll tell you, you can be saved right now if God is talking to your heart. You can say yes from the depths of your soul, and He will wrap His arms of love around you, and you will be His.

( congregational amens ).

He can give you His peace. He can let you know that you’re real, that you’re right with Him, that you’re ready. Should you die today you would be ready to stand before Him, that you’re His. I just leave it with you. I don’t know. My words, as I say, have no power, but His do. What a simple Gospel. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.

The question is where do you stand with respect to this? Has God saved you? Have you really cast your lot completely with Him, or are you still standing outside the door? I’m gonna leave it between you and God. But if He’s knocking on your heart’s door, you say yes. There’s a lot of people here that would join and say, say yes.

( congregational amens ).

I’ve been where you’re at. I’ve been standing outside the door. I know what a battle it can be, but the Lord brought me to a place where I knew that He loved me. And I said, yes, and I’m not sorry. Oh, praise God! It’s a challenging road through life, but He walks through every step of it with you. And what a hope He has laid before us! Oh, what a hope the Gospel is! It doesn’t depend upon my righteousness or anything. It depends on Him and His grace to take me there. What a hope we have! Is that hope yours this morning? Praise God!